Unsolved Mysteries was first broadcast in January of 1987, and is one of the longest running programs in the history of television. Each episode features four to five segments profiling real-life mysteries and an update of a case which has been solved. Segment categories include: murder, missing persons, wanted fugitives, UFOs, ghosts, paranormal, missing heirs, amnesia, fraud, among others.
Unsolved Mysteries was the first television series to introduce an audience interactive call-to-action requesting viewer tips to help solve real cases. Out of more than 1000 cases profiled in 260 episodes, over half the cases featuring wanted fugitives have been solved, most as a result of viewer tips. More than one hundred families have been reunited with lost loved ones and several cases involving missing heirs, murder, fraud and amnesia have also been solved. In seven cases, individuals wrongly convicted of crimes have been released following UM broadcasts.
Unsolved Mysteries is produced by Cosgrove/Meurer Productions and was created by Executive Producers John Cosgrove and Terry Dunn Meurer. It was broadcast for nine seasons on NBC and two seasons on CBS. Unsolved Mysteries has received six Emmy nominations and numerous commendations from law enforcement agencies, including the FBI and US Marshals Service. The host of the first pilot/special was Raymond Burr. Karl Malden hosted the next two specials and then Robert Stack hosted the remaining programs on NBC and CBS. When Unsolved was brought to cable on SPIKE TV and LIFETIME, Dennis Farina became the host.